Broadhaven, Blacksod and Tullaghan Bays and parts of the Mullet peninsula

Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
A very large coastal complex, next to Belmullet in County Mayo. This site includes the intertidal mudflats, sandflats and saltmarsh of several bays as well as parts of the Mullet peninsula and mainland, with machair, lake, marsh and non-intensive farmland. This site is an amalgamation of three sites which were listed as separate IBAs in the previous European inventory (Grimmett and Jones 1989): Broadhaven Bay (formerly IE028), Termoncarragh Lake (formerly IE029) and Blacksod Bay (formerly IE033).

Key biodiversity
The bays and other coastal, lake and intertidal habitats support a wide diversity of wintering and breeding birds. In winter, there are internationally important numbers of several waterbirds. In addition, there are nationally important numbers of Anser albifrons flavirostris, Mergus serrator (43 birds, 1996), Pluvialis squatarola (61 birds, 1995), Charadrius hiaticula, Calidris alba (65 birds, 1995), Calidris alpina (2,465 birds, 1996) and Limosa limosa (136 birds, 1996).

A 2002 survey of breeding Falco peregrinus found one breeding pair in the vicinity of the site.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Onshore, the site is threatened by overgrazing, increased fencing and increased use of fertilizer, while pressure to develop intertidal shellfish cultivation is increasing within the bays. The breeding habitat of Crex crex, in particular, is threatened by changes in agricultural practice, with earlier cutting of hay and silage, and the replacement of meadow with sheep-grazing pasture. Farming practices that favour Crex crex are being encouraged within the area through a grant scheme. There are plans to attract Phalaropus lobatus back to Annagh marsh on the Mullet peninsula, through habitat-restoration measures. A 24 ha reserve owned by BirdWatch Ireland lies within the site. The IBA overlaps with a proposed candidate Special Area for Conservation (Blacksod/Mullet; area not known).

Protected areas
National None International Partial683 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Blacksod/Broadhaven Bay, 683 ha). 7,493 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Blacksod and Broadhaven Bays, 7,493 ha). 109 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Cross Lough (The Mullet), 109 ha). 377 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Termoncarragh Lake, 377 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Broadhaven, Blacksod and Tullaghan Bays and parts of the Mullet peninsula. Downloaded from on 22/01/2021.